Watts deploys free verse poetry to recall and ruminate on an “alien abduction” she experienced in the 1970s.
This eccentric debut stands out for sheer nonconformity even amid the microgenre of UFO-abduction memoirs. Author Watts (aka “thought continuum”) uses free verse poetry to evoke a UFO close encounter in Utah near Hill Air Force Base in 1976 (yes, there is a thing as paranormal poetry). The basics: she and her future husband had just watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and had been shaken by it. Driving back home, the couple beheld a vast, dark spaceship nestled just off a highway overpass. With a flash of light, the narrator found herself strapped down in a lab and surrounded by mostly female, long-fingered humanoids (and one very alien creature called Aesop who looked like a face mounted on an upside-down treble-clef sign). After a sort of telepathic interrogation, contest of wills, and cosmic epiphany, the narrator was back in the auto. The autosuggestion factor—that the author and her boyfriend had just seen a jarring drama, which included an intrusive neurological procedure, set in a sterile, clinical setting—seems to lurk in the interstitials of Watts’ verse, but she believes other independent witnesses that night also saw something unusual in the skies around Hill AFB. And as a dealer in personal myths and metaphors-as-reality, she tells the reader, “I do naught [sic] care / if you believe my story / or naught….I only hope that you enjoy the reading.” Which, take it or leave it, is a novelty compared with all those other saucer hunters and contactees who seem to be mainly peddling movie/TV deals. Inventive wordplay and punning references also show we’re not in Syfy channel specials about Roswell anymore: “my fear a wary talisman / for the story i was born with.../ a story i had naught / even lived yet...a story i intuitively knew would naught conform... / a cuckoo tale.”
A diverting space oddity that flies against the tailwinds of UFO–tabloid literature.